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If you're in Mumbai for just one day, here are some of the city's top highlights that you should try to see. Mumbai is laid out north-south, and many iconic sights are in the south — including the heritage district. Thus, this list focuses on southern Mumbai, with most sights easily accessible by foot, taxi, or bus. I have also ordered them in a logical geographical sequence. Enjoy!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

13 Places

10 City Tips

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13 Places

Gateway of India

Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Gift & Speciality Shops, Speciality Museums

Rajabai Clock Tower

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Churchgate Railway Station

Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Flora Fountain

Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks

St. Thomas Cathedral Mumbai

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites

Town Hall (Asiatic Society Library)

Libraries

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites

Crawford Market

Flea & Street Markets

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum

History Museums

Dhobi Ghat

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Marine Drive

Scenic Drives, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Chowpatty Beach

Neighbourhoods, Beaches

Deepa_Krishnan's City Tips

  • Don’t miss Mumbai's famous street food snacks. Favorite fried items include pav bhaji, vada pav, pani puri, and bhel puri.
  • It is considered good form to tip 10% when dining out.
  • At fancier restaurants, check to see if the service charges are already included in the bill (but keep in mind that service tax is not the same as service charge).
  • When in Mumbai, try the delicious cuisine of the Konkan coast. You can also try many regional cuisines: Gujarati, Punjabi, Parsi, Goan, Bengali, and South Indian.
  • The city is easily navigable by public transport: local train, bus, and taxi.
  • If you’re staying in the suburbs, you can get an autorickshaw up to a certain point, but they are not allowed in the southern part of the city.
  • Trains and buses can be very crowded during peak hours, but taxis are easily available and can be flagged down on the road. They run by meter; don't be afraid to enforce this.
  • While the metro and the monorail cover parts of the city, they don't service the attractions in this list.
  • The best way to explore the Fort heritage district is on foot. I suggest taking your time to enjoy the city in parts (do not expect to cover everything in a day).
  • It can get hot during the day, so make sure that you've got appropriate sun protection.
  • Save
    Gateway of India
    Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    This iconic landmark is usually the first stop for people exploring Mumbai, and the perpetual throngs of tourists and street vendors at Gateway of India create a lively, colorful atmosphere. Enjoy fine views of the harbor and the grand Taj Mahal Hotel opposite.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The ferry to Elephanta Island departs from here. During monsoon season, the sea is very choppy and ferry frequency is limited; avoid traveling during this time if possible.
    • Weekends are extremely crowded, so go on a weekday if you can. On weekends, try going early (8am is good).
    • The Gateway is open everyday, except for parade days (such as the Navy Day parade on December 2).
    • There is a security check to enter the Gateway area, with separate queues for men and women.
    • This is an open area without any shade, and it gets very hot in the middle of the day.
    • The 30-minute public ferry rides are a fun way to see the harbor. You can purchase tickets on the spot (there is no advance booking).
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Visit to Gateway of India 10/12/2017
    • Gateway of India - A reminder of Old Bombay 10/12/2017
    • Gateway of India
    Address:
    Peninsula at end of C. Shivaji Maharaj Marg
    Mumbai
    India
    Phone:
    +91 94180 81904
    Other:
  • Save
    Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
    Gift & Speciality Shops, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    CSMVS (formerly known as the 'Prince of Wales Museum') is one of the best museums in India, with an active calendar of events. Located in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai's art precinct, it's only a 10-minute walk from the Gateway of India, and it provides an excellent overview of Indian art and history. The museum building itself is also a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't miss the Indus Valley exhibit and the Miniature Painting section. Kids especially will love the well-presented Natural History section.
    • Lifts and wheelchairs are available for senior citizens and the differently abled. Tactile tours for the visually impaired are also available for groups of 10-35 people.
    • If you are not in a hurry, take a tea break at one of the museum's two cafes.
    • The museum shop is excellent. There is also a stand (inside, near the entrance), where traditional artists sell their works — check it out for unique souvenirs!
    • There's always some event, such as movie screenings, exhibitions, or talks, going on. Check out the website and Facebook page for details.
    • Since it's located in the art district, there are many galleries nearby, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, Jehangir Art Gallery, Delhi Art Gallery, Artisans, etc.
    • You need at least an hour to see the museum highlights. The museum does not currently run daily guided tours, but audio guides are available.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 181 Shopping in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great museum, superb building, great art collection 09/12/2017
    • Great museum 07/12/2017
    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
    Address:
    159 Mahatma Gandhi Rd
    Mumbai 400023
    India
    Phone:
    +91 22 2284 4484
    Other:
  • Save
    Rajabai Clock Tower
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    The Rajabai Tower is part of the Bombay University campus. Built in 1878, it is one of the best examples of 'Bombay Gothic' architecture, and the imposing stone buildings adjacent to it — including the university’s Convocation Hall, the Secretariat, and the High Court — are pretty impressive too.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry into the university campus is not allowed, but the buildings are visible from the road.
    • Architecture buffs should pause and observe the contrast between the old stone buildings and the modern art deco ones on the other side of the Oval Maidan.
    • Across the road from the University is the Oval Maidan, Mumbai’s favorite cricket ground. Take a few moments to watch the matches in progress!
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The Big Ben of Mumbai 19/11/2017
    • Heritage Monument of Mumbai 09/11/2017
    • Rajabai Clock Tower
    Address:
    Bombay University
    Mumbai
    India
  • Save
    Churchgate Railway Station
    Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Stop at Churchgate Station to see Mumbai’s famous dabbawalas (tiffin-carriers) hard at work, ferrying hot, freshly prepared lunches from central kitchens to hungry customers. The Western Railway Headquarters building, erected in 1899, is beautiful too, with a heritage steam engine on display on its lawns.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Dabbawalas can be spotted between 11:30am and 12pm on weekdays. In April, the dabbawalas go on their annual leave for a week.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • Main railway station of Western suburb 08/12/2017
    • Decent 03/12/2017
    • Churchgate Railway Station
    Address:
    Church Gate Street
    Mumbai
    India
    Other:
  • Save
    Flora Fountain
    Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Surrounded by the elegant stone buildings of the financial district, this pretty fountain is dedicated to Flora, the Roman goddess of spring. Check out the statue of Dadabhai Naoroji, the Grand Old Man of Bombay, as well as the Martyr’s Memorial that commemorates those who lost their lives during the struggle for the creation of a Marathi-speaking state.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The pavement stalls here are popular among Mumbai’s book lovers. If you’re hunting for a particular book, the vendors are very helpful.
    • Take a break at the Kitab Khana bookstore, which has a great collection of books in many languages. Their cafe is nice, but service is relaxed so don't expect your food in a hurry!
    • The two nearby vada-pav (potato fritter in a bun) stands — one outside Kitab Khana and one near the Central Telegraph Office — are both very good.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #72 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • History 23/11/2017
    • Historical Monument 09/11/2017
    • Flora Fountain
    Address:
    MG Rd at Veer Nariman Rd
    Mumbai
    India
  • Save
    St. Thomas Cathedral Mumbai
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Mumbai's first Anglican cathedral was completed in 1718. It has beautiful interiors, with many memorials and statues from the British period. Services are still held here too, if you'd like to take one in.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • In the lane opposite the Cathedral, you'll find the famous Yazdani Bakery — the best place to try Mumbai’s favorite brun-maska (hard buttered croissants) and chai.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nicely preserved church 01/12/2017
    • Antique Cathedral of Mumbai 31/10/2017
    • St. Thomas Cathedral Mumbai
    Address:
    DN Rd
    Mumbai 400 001
    India
    Other:
  • Save
    Town Hall (Asiatic Society Library)
    Libraries
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    The Asiatic Library, also know as the 'Town Hall,' is a historically significant building where several major announcements and decisions were made during the era of British rule. In front of the library is Horniman Circle, the garden where Mumbai's port cargo was once loaded and unloaded. And if you are interested, you can walk farther into the district to see the State Bank of India building and the iconic Bombay Stock Exchange building.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can relax for a short time in the Horniman Circle Garden.
    • Try to spot the red Bombay Samachar Building, home to the city’s oldest vernacular newspaper.
    • Check out the old well and water trough near Horniman Circle — it was originally meant for people and pack animals who came to pick up the port cargo.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #111 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • Renovations and more outdated than expected 07/09/2017
    • A must visit Iconic place in the heart of the city 27/07/2017
    • Town Hall (Asiatic Society Library)
    Address:
    Town Hall, Opposite Horniman Circle
    Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Fort, Mumbai
    Mumbai 400001
    India
    Phone:
    +91 22 2266 5139
    Other:
  • Save
    Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
    Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    No visit to Mumbai is complete without a visit to Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). Thousands of commuters stride through here each day, and it's just as enjoyable watching them as it is admiring this truly stunning architectural masterpiece, with its intricate carvings, stained-glass windows, and domed ceiling. No wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Indian Railways offers a guided tour of the interior on weekdays at 3pm.
    • The monument is colorfully lit up at night.
    • Opposite CST is the imposing Municipal Headquarters building. Look for the figure representing "Urbs Prima in Indis" (numero uno city in India).
    • Don’t miss the GIPR Logo and the beautiful carved peacocks.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great new external viewing area 10/12/2017
    • Impressive facade 09/12/2017
    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
    Address:
    DN Road
    Mumbai CST Area
    Mumbai
    India
    Phone:
    +91 83085 25725
    Other:
  • Save
    Crawford Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    If you like bazaars, stop for a look around the chaotic Mahatma Phule Mandai (Crawford Market). This authentic market sells everything under the sun, from spices and fruits to cheese and chocolates. It even features a pet market! Built in 1869, the market's beautiful heritage building consists of a central hall with three large gateways, and, above them, a clock tower.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Don’t miss the sculpted marble panels at the entrance — they were crafted by J Lockwood Kipling (father of famous author Rudyard Kipling).
    • Find your way to Mangaldas Textile Market for a little retail therapy!
    • Traffic in the area is a nightmare, but the market is worth the effort it takes to get inside.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • Market of another level 01/12/2017
    • Lovely wholesale market 27/11/2017
    • Crawford Market
    Address:
    Mohammed Ali Road
    Mumbai 400001
    India
    Phone:
    +91 98201 93571
    Other:
  • Save
    Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Mani Bhavan, Gandhi's home when he stayed in Mumbai, is a quiet place, where the story of Bapu's life is now told through a great collection of dioramas, photos, letters, artifacts, and books. It's a serene place to visit and learn about one of the great personalities behind India's freedom struggle.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • See if you can spot Gandhi’s letter to Hitler.
    • The store sells books and other Gandhi memorabilia. They are very reasonably priced, and they make for great gifts.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • History and Emotion ! 07/12/2017
    • A very interesting place with many informative displays and interesting letters and pictures to see 06/12/2017
    • Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
    Address:
    19 Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum Laburnam Rd
    Gamdevi
    Mumbai 400007
    India
    Phone:
    +91 22 2380 5864
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Dhobi Ghat
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    The Dhobi Ghat at Mahalakshmi, one of the many outdoor laundries in the city, provides a little insight into daily life in Mumbai. Although it's very popular with overseas visitors, locals merely shake their heads and wonder what’s so fascinating!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • You can see the ghat very well from the bridge. If you want to walk inside, there is a fee levied by some locals.
    • The laundry is not active in the late evening.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Thank goodness for washing machines! 10/12/2017
    • Asia's largest open air laundry 06/12/2017
    • Dhobi Ghat
    Address:
    Dr. E. Moses Rd.
    near Mahalakshmi Station
    Mumbai
    India
    Other:
  • Save
    Marine Drive
    Scenic Drives, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Hanging out on Marine Drive is a quintessential part of life in the city. Here, great views and great breezes are combined with a variety of snacks, drinks, and even head massages! A walk along this road is an opportunity to admire the long line of art deco buildings too.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The best time is visit is in the evening, when the sun sets over the Arabian Sea.
    • You can take a Victorian-style horse ride along Marine Drive, from outside the Trident Nariman Point.
    • For great views of the Queen’s Necklace, head to Dome, the rooftop terrace bar of the Intercontinental Hotel.
    • Ice cream lovers can try Mumbai’s favorite shop: Natural Ice Creams near the Intercontinental Hotel.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • Lovely place to walk 10/12/2017
    • Worthwhile drive 10/12/2017
    • Marine Drive
    Address:
    Chaupati
    Mumbai 400021
    India
    Phone:
    +91 97685 01578
    Other:
  • Save
    Chowpatty Beach
    Neighbourhoods, Beaches
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Chowpatty is a colorful beach with plenty of games and rides for kids, plus a range of snacking options. It is particularly famous for its fast food street stalls, and it's most active in the evenings.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Try Mumbai's famous pav bhaji, and the kala khatta flavor of iced gola.
    • The hygiene standards are questionable at best. If you are not used to street food, walk across the road to Soam and taste Mumbai favorites in a clean and lovely setting.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 506 things to do in Mumbai
    • Chowpatty beach 03/12/2017
    • Very Clean & Neat 01/12/2017
    • Chowpatty Beach
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